We had a conversation with Guti Martín from SHERPA PROJECT, the team behind the BIG-RIDE championship and got an overview on the series concept.
Who is behind BIG-RIDE, the project? the people. (crazy bike lovers / adrenaline seekers ?)
Behind BIG RIDE Powered by Cannondale is SHERPA PROJECT. An outdoor sports and tourism agency who has a lot of experience in mountain bike projects. Is the company responsible for MANZANEDA BIKEPARK, Centros BTT Galicia and very important events as the Avalancha of Manzaneda. We are a group of good friends working together for the same dreams; we are very lucky to share this project day by day. Of course, and fist of all, we are riders from many years ago and think like riders. Because of that we love to create new projects as BIG RIDE.
Where did the idea come from to organize an Enduro / All Mountain series such as BIG-RIDE?
The avalancha of Manzaneda is eight years old and we where thinking in create a championship from two years ago. In that moment we make a trip to Scotland to race in a endure competition and loved that format. Then we start to create the brand BIG RIDE and speak with our Cannondale friends to invite them to share this project.
Could you explain a little bit the concept behind the BIG-Ride series? it’s an Enduro related event, but we all know there are several out there pooping around Europe and with very different styles, tell us the approach you are doing on enduro…
Well, we are speaking about over mountain because is the name of mountain bike Cannondale´s line with Jekyll and Claymore. We have avalanche competition and enduro races. We really want to export France and UK endure concepts but with our own style. We are trying to desing really good trail, with a lot of flow and technical available for everybody. We are looking for a long “big ride” crossing each special in the way to make a circular trail around the paddock race. We do not like DH tracks, we are looking flow trails, you must to be a little strong in small and explosive climbs and have technical qualities. In the same way, we want people to share and live in fist person avalancha races, everybody have to taste it once at least…16 km down with 1.000 level meters accumulate.
The organization of such event (especially the first time ones) can only come from hard work and dedication. how much time did it take to setup the event concept, partners, sponsors, media support, etc?
We have a lot of experience in events, national and international. With BIG RIDE we start working last September and actually we are three persons working day by day. Each event needs approximately 30 persons working together.
Especially on the media / marketing (besides other topics) would say BIG Ride is doing a terrific job, do you think it’s a fundamental topic for the success of the series? (as we all hope it will be!)
As you know, Facebook is into our lives and rest of media internet communications also… for us, media is really important because our sponsors and a very important area to be difference from other events. Cannondale is doing a lot with his marketing and the possibility to enjoy Jerome Clementz as a BIG RIDE ambassador is great and very good opportunity to us. Our media department is doing a really good job with too much creativity and good ideas.
About the race course itself, to define a course that translates the ideal balance between the technical capabilities required for Enduro and the physical strength / pedaling capabilities is not easy… taking that into account how did BIG-Ride selected and tested the courses?
As I told you, we are riders and not very bad….(is a joke); we work a lot with GPS to make the first idea in a new place for us; them we test it…it looks easy but it is a really long and hard word. We try to mix everything, flow area, Dh areas, XC areas, short and explosives climbs…..after that, we decide how many stages will have that race and test it again and again to have the final design after the race.
The perfect bike to run the BIG Ride series would be…
Easy, Cannondale Jekyll for enduro races and Claymore for the avalancha race in Manzaneda; after that….I would say you can race with any bike because you can control your limits, but maybe for Cercedilla and Tui, endure races, will be perfect between 130-160mm double suspension and 150-180mm double suspension for Manzaneda.
Any special hint for the Enduro / All Mountain enthusiasts out there reading this article? one reason why they should participate on the BIG-RIDE championship!
Enjoy mountain bike with your friends everyday and that day in special….enduro is a new race concept very similar to any Saturday or Sunday mountain bike meeting with friends…not pressure only enjoy…..BIG RIDE will be a really good opportunity to have a new experience, enduro is very funny and you will love it for sure. Avalancha is unique and different, two hundred riders at the same time…crazy but really incredible.
Cercedilla is one of the best enduro spots in Spain and a really nice mountain village; Tui is very close north of Portugal and our house, we know every trails and is the best place in Galicia, Manzaneda is the best bikepark in North of Spain and the avalancha is the only one race in this moment around the country.
Hope to enjoy our races and good riding….
Check the video below and make sure you’ll be there![vsw id=”42389863″ source=”vimeo” width=”750″ height=”422″ autoplay=”no”]
The Big Ride powered by Cannondale 2012 is composed of three events:
BIG RIDE CERCEDILLA (2-3 JUN): Undoubtedly Cercedilla is one of the best spots in Madrid for the practice of mountain biking. A very fluid downhill, very compact ground, roots and loose stones, a paradise for Enduro (more info here)
BIG RIDE TUI (9-10 JUN): In Galicia, in Celtic lands, bordering with Portugal is Tui, a stage with a great potential for the practice of Overmountain with a technical and physical terrain. The surroundings of Monte Aloia offers panoramic views over the coast and the Miño river of great beauty (more info here)
BIG RIDE MANZANEDA (8-9 SEP): The number one avalanche in Spain with a very demanding track for a total of 15 miles and 1,200 vertical meters. From level 1,800 of the mountain resort of Manzaneda can enjoy all kinds ofareas to test our machines (more info here)
You can find the main MTB Enduro events on All Mountain Addict 2012 race calendar.